If you’ve just received the news that your child will have Down Syndrome, then you’re probably feeling really scared right about now. About one in every 700 babies is born with Down Syndrome in the United States, and it can feel overwhelming to realize that you will now be parenting a child with Down Syndrome. It can be frightening to realize you’ll be raising a child with a disability, but there’s no reason to view this diagnosis as a bad thing. As you learn about Down Syndrome, you’ll find there’s actually several good reasons to be hopeful and happy about your child’s future.
- Your Child Can Live a Long and Fulfilling Life: One thing you should learn about Down Syndrome is that people with this disability are capable of living long and fulfilling lives. The average life expectancy for someone with Down Syndrome is almost 60 years, though some can live into their 80s, which is as long as many people without Down Syndrome live. Though your child has this disability, it doesn’t guarantee they will die young, in fact it’s more likely they’ll go on to grow up and live a life comparable to any other person’s in length.
- Your Child is Guaranteed an Education: Another important thing to learn about Down Syndrome is that children born with this disability are guaranteed an education. According to KidsHealth, once your child turns 3, they are guaranteed educational services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (also known as IDEA). No matter what the level of disability, your child will be able to go to school and learn just like other children do.
- Your Child Could Be Capable of Living on Their Own Once They Grow Up: Another important thing to know is that just because your child has Down Syndrome doesn’t mean they won’t be able to take care of themselves when they get older. As with many other disabilities, there are several varieties of Down Syndrome, each with varying levels of mental disability attached. Many with Down Syndrome go on to live in their own homes or apartments, sometimes with roommates or without, and live fairly independent lives with minimal levels of assistance. Don’t assume that your child will need full time support for the rest of their lives because that may not be the case at all.
In conclusion,, there are several things you need to know once your child has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. First, it is very likely your child will go on to lead a long and fulfilling life. Also, your child is guaranteed an education under the IDEA Act. And, your child could be able of living on their own once they grow up. Always remember that Down Syndrome should never be thought of as a catastrophic end. Yes, your child will be different, but they can still live and experience life just like anyone else.